Verb cavil Definition and Examples



Definition as verb:


cavil (third-person singular simple present cavils, present participle (UK) cavilling or (US) caviling, simple past and past participle (UK) cavilled or (US) caviled)

  1. (intransitive) To criticise for petty or frivolous reasons.

More definition: raise irritating and trivial objections; find fault with unnecessarily (usually followed by at or about), He finds something to cavil at in everything I say. oppose by inconsequential, frivolous, or sham objections, to cavil each item of a proposed agenda.

3.a trivial and annoying objection.

4.the raising of such objections.


The existence of acids not containing oxygen was, in itself, sufficient to overthrow this idea, but, although Berthollet had shown, in 1789, that sulphuretted hydrogen (or hydrosulphuric acid) contained no oxygen, Lavoisier's theory held its own until the researches of Davy, Gay-Lussac and Thenard on hydrochloric acid and chlorine, and of Gay-Lussac on hydrocyanic acid, established beyond all cavil that oxygen was not essential to acidic properties.

Struthious birds, was placed beyond cavil, and the author called upon all interested in zoology to aid in further research as to this singular form.

Certain it is that there is much in his utterances for a less robust democracy than his own to cavil at.'

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